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[ecrea] CfP for international conference on scandals

Wed Jul 08 14:42:57 GMT 2015

Call for Papers
1st International Conference in Scandalogy
The current state of research on a social phenomenon

University of Bamberg
Department of Communication Studies and Department of German Studies
Bamberg, Germany
7-8 April 2016

Various academic disciplines have started to intensify research on scandals as social phe-nomena. Especially communication and media studies and political science place emphasis on researching scandals, as a number of thematically relevant publications and conferences within these disciplines illustrate (e.g. ECREA conference on “The mediation of scandal and moral outrage”). ‘The scandal’ as a social phenomenon can be approached from several academic perspec-tives. Arguably, ‘the science of scandals’ qualifies as a distinct interdisciplinary research field. The aim of this conference is to foster exchange between “scandalogists” from different aca-demic disciplines in order to gather and present recent findings from a wide range of theoret-ical approaches. Hence this call is addressed to all researchers who have a scientific interest in scandals. We especially invite scholars of communication and media studies, political science, literary studies, sociology, psychology, ethnology, and history to contribute. Papers may address a diverse range of topics including the following:

Communication and media studies
Under what conditions are violations of social norms publicly condemned, creating a “media scandal” (Burkhardt, 2006)? How do social agents, e.g. journalists, contribute to such dy-namics of scandalization? What accounts for the great interest of media users in scandalized topics? Do media and communication history contribute to a better understanding of the om-nipresence of mass-mediated scandals today?

Do “cultures of scandal” (Hondrich, 2002) , which determine specific patterns of action and topical selections of scandalization, exist?

Ethnology and cultural studies
Do typical conflict-patterns of scandalization constitute an anthropological constant which allows us to derive trans-historically and -culturally valid observations about social coexist-ence?

What effect does ‘scandalized’ discourse have on media agents and media users? Do scan-dals have a specific function for individuals, for instance as regards moral attitudes?

Political science
What functions do scandals have in democratic societies and to what purpose are scandals communicated in illiberal regimes? Do scandals exist in dictatorships in the same sense as in democratic societies?

Literary studies
When are scandals used as a marketing strategy? Is it possible to calculate the risks and opportunities of literary scandals? Is the literary scandal a phenomenon where the artist is merely ‘doing her job’ by using competencies and resources of her public image to an eco-nomical end? Are there also specific milieus and target-groups where the literary scandal is a possibility to channel a latent hostility towards ‘art’?

Confirmed keynote speakers
Prof. Dr. Steffen Burkhardt (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences)
Prof. Dr. Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf (WWU Münster)

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words. Please include an additional short biographical note of no more than 150 words. As the selection of abstracts will be peer-reviewed anonymously, we ask contributors to in-clude a separate title page containing title, author/s, affiliation/s, and the address, phone, fax, and e-mail of the first author. All submissions will be evaluated on relevance and originality, clarity of research purpose, grounding of theoretical and methodological approach, focus, and organization.
A publication of selected articles is planned.
Please email abstracts to (andre.haller /at/ or (hendrik.michael /at/ by September 30th, 2015. Notifications will be sent out in early December.


Dr. André Haller

Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft
Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
An der Weberei 5 / Raum 04.069
D-96045 Bamberg

E-Mail: (andre.haller /at/

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